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Saturday, 1 September 2007

The Rt. Hon. Minister for YouTube

Absolutely damning take on UK in The Register by Chris Williams : Where in the world is the UK's silicon valley?

After running through the real successes -, which is genius and, er, a few more (it misses Bebo) - and after failing to locate UK's beating heart, it turns it's attention to Gordon Brown, DC, SMC , da Millibands and pals.

The Rt. Hon. Minister for YouTube

What about government support? The newly minted departments for trade and industry might do better (we'll give them the benefit of the doubt) but so far, when it comes to technology, our politicians often prefer not to let facts, or indeed issues, get in the way of a good story. Meaningful discussion gives way to posturing.

Having failed to engage with da yoof via every medium ever, both main parties have claimed to be convinced that YouTube and Facebook are the tools they've been waiting for to involve the Kersal Massive in public discourse. Before his promotion to glory in the Foreign Office, Labour's David Miliband was engaged in a battle royale with the opposition to decide who gets social networking the most.

Cameron might have a blog [which is getting better, though I wouldn't auto-load video and the text's too small ;) ], but Miliband clearly gained the initiative with this recent nonsense by channeling conference magnate Tim O’Reilly:

Instead of citizens acting in isolation, unsure of whether their actions are reciprocated by others, feeling powerless in the face of large organisations and global change, citizens can feel part of a bigger project. They can create a shared willingness to act, their preferences can be aggregated, and can give rise to collective action as well as collective discussion.

Cynics would suggest this is the internet equivalent of Gordon Brown proclaiming himself an Arctic Monkeys fan. Serious lamenters of the lack of government support around new technology might be less charitable. It shows UK tech entrepreneurs they’re on their own, as it ever was, and probably should be.

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